Prisons Upset That Prisoners Don't Get Discounts On Digital TV Converters
from the you-want-prison-riots? dept
As you probably have heard, the US will be shutting down analog TV broadcasts early next year, as the conversion to digital is complete. For most TV watchers, this won’t matter one bit. For anyone who watches TV via cable or satellite TV, the change means nothing. It only impacts those who watch TV-over-the-air and who don’t have a digitally-enabled TV or conversion box. So, as part of the effort to move the transition along smoothly, the gov’t is handing out coupons to individuals that can be used to pay for a converter box.
Except, apparently, if you happen to live in prison.
Prison officials are getting quite worried that prisons that use over-the-air TV signals for their televisions won’t be able to afford the converters, because the gov’t won’t give them the coupons. As South Carolina Corrections Department Director Jon Ozmint notes:
“We asked them for the coupons and they said they’re only available for households. I said, ‘We’re the big house.’ But they didn’t buy it.”
Now, many might point out that this shouldn’t be a big deal, as perhaps the gov’t shouldn’t be using taxpayer money to subsidize the TV watching habits of prisoners, but the prison officials are claiming that most people don’t understand just how important television is in keeping the peace within prisons. The article includes some quotes from folks that suggest that television is a pretty important part of the prison experience in encouraging good behavior and keeping the prisoners connected to the outside world. Who would have ever thought that the conversion from analog to digital TV might lead to prison riots?